Thankful.

THANKFUL. GRATEFUL. BLESSED.

Whatever you want to call it, ’tis the season to let someone know you are thinking about them.  sometimes a simple Thank You or a phone call just to let them know that they are on your mind can make someone’s entire week!!!

It is also a time to reflect on what is important in your life, or maybe things you are grateful for.

How do I even begin?

Here is my thankful list in no particular order:

  1. My strong faith in God
  2. My two beautiful children
  3. The Past, Present and Future
  4. My furry kids.
  5. My Daddy
  6. My Momma
  7. Sisters
  8. Extended Family
  9. Photography
  10. Pottery
  11. Cheesecake
  12. My church family
  13. Health
  14. Teenagers
  15. Books
  16. Awanas…Kids, volunteers and the ability to make a difference in these kids lives!
  17. Chocolate
  18. Red Bull
  19. Haiti
  20. Pandora
  21. Homeschooling
  22. Passport stamps
  23. Blogging
  24. All Four Seasons
  25. My Ex Husband
  26. My squeaky ceiling fan
  27. Snooze button
  28. Cell Phone
  29. Pictures
  30. Ability to forgive
  31. …..and forget
  32. Lifetime movies
  33. Unsweetened tea
  34. Roller Coasters
  35. Sports Bras
  36. Yoga pants
  37. Naturally curly hair……and my Flat iron
  38. my couch
  39. Lawn Mower
  40. Crushed ice
  41. Matching Socks
  42. Good Night Prayers
  43. Good Morning Kisses
  44. Grass Stained Football pants
  45. Mismatched socks
  46. Frozen Blueberries
  47. Disabilities
  48. Breakfast Food
  49. Naps
  50. Netflix
  51. SnapChat
  52. Sad songs
  53. Flowers
  54. Random dancing in the kitchen
  55. Ice Cream and Milk
  56. unconditional love
  57. Missing Shoes
  58. Long Drives
  59. sleepovers
  60. Best Friends
  61. Old Friends
  62. New Friends
  63. New Relationships
  64. Cartwheels
  65. Trampolines
  66. MEMORIES!!!!

This is my short list!!!

Many blessing to each one of you who follow my Blog.    Have a happy and safe Holiday!!!

Until next time….Make your own thankful list!!!!

Homework Strikes Again!!!

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Well, it’s official.  I am a failure as a mother.

Apparently, I have this nasty habit of trusting people.   I look back on my life and realize that may not be the wisest thing to do, yet I continue to do it over and over again……and I continue to get disappointed.

This morning while getting my son ready for school, he tells me he didn’t finish his homework.  Now, that can’t be right.  He told me he finished his homework Monday night.  He also reiterated to me last night that his homework was complete and I even checked it!!!

This morning, he pulls out a math test that he made a whopping 50%. (he must be Houdini, because where he “pulled out” this math test is nothing short of magic, since I just checked his folder less than 10 hours before.)

Oh wait, it get’s better…….

Mom, I need to finish this math homework!!   (he tells me 10 minutes before we leave for school)

Rushing around trying to finish math homework while he eats his cereal, I am spraying his head with a water bottle trying to tame the wild hair sticking up from his sleeping soundly with apparently no guilt at all  for lying to me about having ALL of his homework finished.

We finally get in the car to head to school, and the lecture starts as I call his father and we both harshly tell him the consequences of not doing well in school and lying to his parents.   Hang up from Dad as we pull into the school drop off…….

Mom, this is all your fault!!!!!!

Pardon me?  What is all my fault?

You knew that I had to redo my math test so I could get a better grade!!!!!

I am Fuming by this point, certain that steam was coming out of my ears as I screamed a nasty little profanity that obviously shocked my son as he broke down and started bawling that I am the worst mom in the world!!!!

YOU HAD TO REDO YOUR MATH TEST?!?  AND HOW IS THIS MY FAULT?  THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE HEARD ABOUT THIS!!!!!

I squealed out of the school parking lot and headed back home to get the failed math test that he saw me take out of his folder and place on the kitchen counter this morning as he was devouring his second bowl of Corn Flakes!

I barrel into the parking lot like a NASCAR driver, put the car in park and told him to go get a pencil and his test and bring it to the car.   What felt like “5 hours later”  (the famous timeline on SpongeBob) he made his way to the car.

Now let me pause for a brief minute and explain to you that 4th grade math is absolutely the most ridiculous waste of precious time in the history of the world!!!!

You have to add 500 ten thousands to 70 hundreds to 782 ones and then round them off  to the nearest 10s and estimate the missing numerals after writing it in expanded form……..And if you get the first answer incorrect, then the whole darn test is a complete fail!!!

So, correct me if I am wrong.   I have a possible solution to kids NOT failing tests.   Check the first answer, teachers.  Then let the kids finish taking the test.  That way they wont miss the next 12  questions and fail the test.

Now, back to the story of my son…The Drama Queen.

We started arguing immediately because I knew I had the FIRST answer right and he said I was totally wrong.   After 5 minutes of yelling back and forth over who was right, I called his father again.  (basically so he could tell his Father goodbye for the last time because I was getting ready to murder him)

His dad and I both did the math problem together and I WAS RIGHT!!  It  took every thing in me not to jump out of the car and do some embarrassing happy dance that would have included the “Roger Rabbit” and “The Sprinkler” followed with a “split and spirit fingers” for my grand finale.  But it was all cut short when my son proclaimed to his father that I said the “F word” to him.   Imaginary Happy Dance over…Insert Violin music…as my son tries to have a pity party for himself at my expense.

I do not condone using profanity at your children.  I had already  forgotten that I lost my mind and even used the dreaded “F Bomb”.   (and I am truly sorry and embarrassed that it came out of my mouth!)

By this time, He has decided he is not going to even finish the work, His dad is telling him (over the phone as I sit in the Medical school parking lot) to finish his work.   I am in tears at this point.

We are all in tears at this point!!!

Homework finally complete…I guess, unless he had other work he magically forgot to finish!!

Off to school…LATE.  He tells me he is not going to school because he was crying and his friends will laugh at him.   Well, I am the one taking you to school in yoga pants, hair in a messy bun, no makuep or BRA!!!!! 

Finally get him out of the car, sign him in…turn around to give him a hug and kiss goodbye….he’s gone!!!  Houdini strikes again!

Another morning in the life of a single mom who is quite sure she is screwing everything up.

Now off to finish a deadline at work, homeschool the other Hoodlum, write a Bible lesson for class tonight, and do laundry!!!

Bible lesson entitled….even Mom’s need to ask God to forgive them!!!

Ohhhh…. there will be some apologizing tonight and some extra hugs and kisses.  That is, after homework is complete!!!

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COUNTRY ROADS

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”

-Joe L. Wheeler

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Autumn, the year’s last loveliest smile.”    

-William Cullen Bryant

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Fall has always been my favorite season.  The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale”  

-Lauren DeStefano

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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”  

-Albert Camus

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“Autumn carries more Gold in its pocket then all the other seasons”  

-Jim Bishop

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“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”  

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

How Great Thou Art

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Greenbrier County, WV

This morning I stand in awe at the beauty that surrounds me everyday.   Driving down these country roads, I am amazed at the presence of God and how He reveals Himself to us in as something as simple as lifting fog over these breathtaking mountains.

I was reminded of my Grandmother’s favorite hymn How Great Thou Art as I made my way down the colorful crooked roads.   Singing and praising God on such a beautiful morning and thanking Him for everything He has done for me.   Blessed….Well, that is an understatement!

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How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, when I’m in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made.  I see the stars I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods and forest glades I wander and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.  When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think that God His son not sparing, sent him to die, I scarce can take it in.  that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come with shouts of acclimation and take me home, what Joy shall fill my heart!  Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, “My God How Great Thou Art!”

THEN SINGS MY SOUL, MY SAVIOUR GOD TO THEE: HOW GREAT THOU ART!  HOW GREAT THOU ART! THEN SINGS MY SOUL MY SAVIOUR GOD TO THEE HOW GREAT THOU ART! HOW GREAT THOU ART!!

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ENOUGH

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Atelophobia:  The fear of imperfection of not being enough.”

I find something inspiring about a cold rainy fall morning.  The house is so quiet, tea is hot, music is softly playing Lyle Lovett ballads, I am wrapped in my favorite quilt in absolute bliss.   My job takes me to some beautiful places and I am blessed to be where I am at this new phase in my life.   I am doing what I love.  I get to spend the days with my daughter teaching her, playing with her, enjoying every second of her beautiful sometimes complicated life.    My son and I hit the snooze three different times this morning, because we couldn’t stop hugging each other.  His warm little body snuggled so close to mine, arms wrapped around me so tight.  Good morning tickles and giggles.

It was this morning I realized something.  I am enough.

Here are some things I thought about this morning that I want my kids to know:

  • Be strong enough to stand alone.
  • When you need help, be brave enough to ask for it.
  • You are good enough.
  • you are smart enough.
  • You are brave enough.
  • You are beautiful enough.
  • You are doing enough.
  • You are compassionate enough.
  • You are LOUD enough.  (that one is specifically for you Adam)
  • You are normal enough.
  • You are talented enough.
  • You are confident enough.
  • You are loving enough.

YOU ARE ENOUGH….

When you feel life beating you down, remember how much I love you and you have always been enough.   I am and will always be your biggest fan.

Know who you are, and know it is enough!”

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But while he was a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20

Let me set the scene…..

Here’s this guy, thinks he has it all figured out.  Demands the inheritance (early) from his father and takes off far away to have a good time.  It didn’t take long for him to squander away everything he owned.  I’m sure he had fun while it lasted, but reality set in quickly like a big ‘ol slap in the face.   He found himself away from home, no money, no family, eating and sleeping with pigs.     Didn’t take long to realize that he missed his home and family very much and he felt so guilty for how he had left.   He decided to suck it up and make the walk of shame back to his family, he knew he wasn’t worthy and had already planned on telling his father he was no longer worthy to be his son and he would work as a hired servant.  

Now here is my favorite part……

His father saw him from the distance and he RAN to greet him with hugs and kisses.   Can you imagine what that looked like?  Here is this kid who was sad, lonely, broke, hungry, full of shame and regret, stinky from sleeping with those nasty pigs dragging himself home, thinking his father will never forgive him.   I bet he was overwhelmed with emotion when he saw his Dad RUNNING to him.

But the Father said to his servants. “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.  Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fatted calf and kill it.  Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”  and they began o celebrate.

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I remember as a child, my youngest sister always running away from home.  (Don’t get me wrong, it’s not what you think.)   She would pack her suitcase after having an argument with mom or not getting her way,  sit at the bottom of the driveway and wait for “Cobby” to come pick her up.  Cobby was our neighbor and happened to spoil my little sis rotten.  She knew if she didn’t get her way, all she had to do was wait for Cobby to pull over and open the door and off they would go to Champs Gas Station. He would load her up with a soda and a big bag of candy, then he would eventually take her back home where Mom would be waiting at the door to take her suitcase, unpack her belongings and go about there day as if nothing happened.  

Let me tell you about growing up in my home in that tiny little village….

My childhood was literally magical.  I had the most incredibly loving and supportive parents.   We came home every day to a spotless house, dinner on the table, and more laughter than you could possibly ever imagine.   My sisters are still the best friends I have ever had and growing up, we never fought.   We were blessed with a Christian education and rarely ever missed a Sunday morning church service.   We spent countless hours hiking and riding bikes, playing volleyball, basketball, and learning how to drive a standard.  We climbed cherry trees, picked apples, chestnuts, pears, peaches, blackberries, grapes, blueberries.  My dad raised two gardens, worked all week, mowed 16 acres every weekend, but always found time to take us fishing, or teach us how to drive the old Chevette.  We went out to dinner every Sunday after church and spent most of the time in the car singing and giggling….or as my dad used to say “Stop your ‘grab-assing’ around!”  (Till this day, I am not quite sure what that means.  hahah.)    We played on the swing set in the back yard, had bon fires and when we got older used to sneak boys around that fire.   Mom and dad were perfectly aware of our antics, yet they always acted clueless and let us live our lives.     We were incredibly happy!!!    

If we needed help with projects or homework, we knew we could always count on Jim Wood.  He was kindof like a Grandpa to us.  I still consider Jim the smartest man in the entire world.  Jim would come over every night and tell us something interesting.  He was an avid collector of National Geographic, took us on nature hikes looking for ginseng and Mushrooms, and loved to fish.

Jerry and Donna Cook were the movie collectors.  Donna recorded every movie in the history of the world.  Those were the times where you could put three movies on one VHS.  We would go over there and pick out movies to watch for the week.

Then there was “Cotton”, he always gave us 50 cent pieces.   Mr. and Mrs. Bayes always supplied us with oatmeal cakes.   Mr. and Mrs. Carte loved for us to come over and sing to them while they worked in the garden.   We were actually blessed to be able to sing at Mr. Carte’s funeral, as was one of his last requests.

Mr. and Mrs. Doss always had the warmest house.  Hot coffee and apple pies.  I will always remember Mr. Doss’ arthritic hands and he gave the best hugs. 

Cobby, Mable, Lisa, Susie and Greg….they were just about the best friends and neighbors a person could have.  Mable would crotchet us blankets and Cobby would spoil us rotten.  Lisa and Susie were more like sisters and I loved every second I got to spend with them.  They will always be life long friends.

David and Cherese Weaver were beautiful talented people.  They were one of the reasons I took up photography and pottery.  I loved to hear their daughter’s sing and was always so excited to babysit them because I knew Rachel would give us a personal concert.

There ya go…..I guess you can say I lived a charmed life in that tiny little village.

I said all of that to say this….

Growing up, I couldn’t wait to move away and get out of that little village.  I wanted to get out of there so bad and make a life….I remember always thinking “the grass has got to be greener somewhere else and couldn’t wait to get out of there and live my own life.   My life has taken many roles since then.  I have been married, moved away, become a mom and am now divorced and raising the kids as well as I can.  Their daddy does a fantastic job also and our kids are loved.   I hope one day my kids can sit down and remember their childhood as I remember mine.  I try to make it happy and make memories everyday with them….memories that will last their lifetime.

But today I am restless….I am thinking about home.  

Just like the Prodigal son, he quickly realized that the Grass wasn’t greener.   That must have been a long walk back home.  But he soon realized “there is no place like home.”    

The gratitude I feel for my two parents cannot be explained.  The sacrifices they made will be forever engraved in my memory as the most selfless form of unconditional love.   They gave up so much to raise us and make us happy.  that is why I think I try so hard to capture every second with my kids with photos and videos…..time is precious and before you know it, they will be making memories with their kids and families.   I only hope I will be the grandparent that my kids have been so blessed to have.

I feel as though I am rambling and I know that I could write another novel on just that subject alone…..from parents to Grandparents.  the love that my family has toward one another is overwhelming.

I am signing out….make some memories with your kids today.   Love them and never let anything come between you and them. 

Until next time….have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

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my little man

I spend a lot of time talking about my sweet daughter, but have rarely talked about the man in my life.
From the second I saw the ultrasound and they announced I was having little boy, I can’t explain it. A feeling of love came over me like I have never had before. I named him Richard Adam after my dad, as he was the only boy out of 3 daughters and 5 granddaughters. My poor dad has always been surrounded by girls, even the dog was female.

Even his father was a bit surprised when I announced to him that he was having a baby boy while he was deployed in Germany. Our track record with girls automatically made him assume out loud “It’s a girl, isn’t it?” I remember what he said next, “I have a little fishing buddy!” He even had a picture on his desk at work of the ultrasound with the tiny arms holding a fishing pole.

The day that angel was born has to be the top third happiest day of my life. The only days that topped it to that point was my wedding day and the birth of sweet Caty. We spent the morning in the waiting room of the hospital preparing for a scheduled C-section, we were trying to guess the height and weight he would be. After surgery, as they were bringing me to my room I saw his dad helping with Adam’s first bath waving his arms excitedly announcing he guessed his weight perfectly. 7 lbs. 10 oz. of the most adorable perfect little boy I ever laid my eyes on. Crooked pinkies and all.

He slept all night, was never fussy, stopped drinking a bottle at 10 months and refused to let us feed him. He was a very independent little man.

At the ages of 4-6 he conquered the wrestling mats with amazing strength and courage and earned the name “Scrappy”. He became a State Novice Champ, Regional Champ, County Champ, and placed 3rd in the State and 6th in the State the following year.

The journey with wrestling came to an end, as he decided to play basketball this year. His team came in 2nd place and he made the All Star team.

He was one of three 8 yr olds who made the minor leagues in baseball and their team won the championship last summer.

Then there is football since the age of 5. He is a beast on the football field where he has been nicknamed “honey badger” by his coaches and peers.

Adam makes friends easily and has been a good little brother to his sissy. He takes up for her and has even told a boy he would “cut his ***** off if he messed with his sister again.” hahah…Now I normally would never condone that kind of language and violence, but apparently the boy was being mean to Cat. His dad and I were shocked yet proud at the same time, tried to be stern but were overcome with uncontrollable laughter because it was so unlike him to be so verbal. I am so glad he wants to protect his sister.

I love to brag on that little guy….at 9 years old, his accomplishments and trophies that cover his room far exceeds what I had ever dreamed he would be. But on February 7, 2013 after church on a Wednesday night, My niece sat on my bed with him and showed him how to have eternal life. He asked Jesus in his heart that night and has never looked back. You couldn’t get this kid to miss church for anything. He loves Wednesday night Awanas and Sunday morning services and even announced to me that he wants to be a preacher in the Army when he grows up. (and also a football coach)

I see a kid that had every right to be angry and sad, as his family was being torn apart in front of his eyes. instead, the day before his mom and dad’s divorce was final he asked Jesus to save him. If only you could have been there. I will never be able to put into words the overwhelming feeling I had that day. When things seemed to be falling apart, that is when things came together in the most important way for a 7 yr old boy.

He is respectful and so kind. Loves to laugh and wrestle (during commercials), he wakes up every morning with a smile on his face and is the first to kiss me good morning. He tells me I am beautiful and never misses a chance to tell me that he loves me at least 10 times a day. he is so patient when his sister is having a bad day and even when I am having a bad day. We sing as loud as we can in a car and we always hold hands as we giggle and can talk for hours.

If there is a way I could stop time, I think I would stop it at this very moment and live like this forever. I am so blessed to call this little man all mine. I always made this statement to his dad “We did something right, didn’t we?” Yes, we sure did.

We have both made mistakes in our lives, but those two amazing beautiful perfect kids will always be ours, and for that I am forever grateful. It is all worth it.

I don’t know where the road will take this young man, but I know his future has been secured in the arms of his Creator and he is on the road to amazing things!!

I am a proud momma.

Until next time my friends……hug your babies tight tonight!!!